If you haven’t read Part 1 yet, please take a couple of minutes and click over (link below this paragraph in banner) so you can get a sense of the entire scope of this project. You can also read what my recommendations are for Safety items, Hygiene Items and select Comfort Items and how it all fits together with the food and meal lists in this post.
If you live in an urban area, the commonly accepted recommendation is to stock 3 days worth of food and water supplies. To err on the side of caution, I decided to create a 72-hour food kit for six adults. Since we only have 4 people in our house (2 adults and 2 kids), this easily gives us flexibility to either sustain ourselves for more days or to help feed family / friends / neighbors who are not as well-prepared.
There is a FREE downloadable shopping list as well as a meal plan at the end of this post.
It is important to take into consideration where you live. If you live in a rural or remote area, you will want many more days of food and water. I would recommend at least two weeks. I know that sounds like a lot and you know what, it is. But, in the case of a serious natural disaster or emergency, you are much better off having more than not enough.
When thinking about what food items to include, there were certain criteria I wanted to meet:
- Make a loose meal plan based on approximately 1800 calories per adult per day.
- Include as many high-quality, clean ingredient foods as possible.
- Choose nutrient-dense foods to help sustain your energy level.
- Choose foods that I know taste good and will make my family happy.
- No MRE’s or dehydrated food packs aka space food or camping food.
- Focus on foods packaged in Tetra Pak’s to limit the amount of canned foods. This is for two main reasons. One, to limit our exposure to BPA and two, to avoid having tons of opened cans with sharp edges lying about. If you have kids or dogs, this is something to consider.
- Include a of couple of pleasure foods for each day. Yes, this includes (screwtop) wine (and coffee. and cookies. and junk cereal.). Boxed wine would also work.
- Be able to heat meals “family style” utilizing one pot and one serving spoon over a camping stove.
As long as your home is still standing, you will have access to whatever perishable food you already have stocked so make sure to incorporate any fresh fruit and vegetables that can be eaten raw. The refrigerator, if unopened, will keep food cold for about four hours. A full freezer will maintain its temperature for around 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed.
When shopping for food items for your emergency kit, check expiration dates and try to buy products with the furthest dates possible. Make a note on your family calendar to use and replace items every 18 to 24 months if you can.
OK, let’s start with the meal plan. As I mentioned, I wanted to create a loose meal plan based on approximately 1800 Calories Per Person Per Day.
The first place I started was with Pacific Foods. Not only am I partnered with them as a Brand Ambassador but we already use and love so many of their products, I knew it would make it easy for me to plan our meals around packaged food that actually tastes good and has ingredients we can trust.
I made sure to only include other brands and products that I have tried and can get behind. While most of the items are Organic, not all are 100% Gluten Free or Dairy Free so make sure you swap out versions that match your family’s dietary needs.
Each days menu makes the assumption that everyone will share a family meal as we only include one pot and one serving spoon (head over to the Safety Post for shopping lists of safety, hygiene and comfort items).
Let’s walk through Day 2 as an example.
The base of breakfast is the same for everyone — Pacific Foods Organic Steel-Cut Oatmeal, Apple & Cinnamon. Each person gets one container, which all get opened at the same time and added to the camping pot. There is Pacific Foods Hempmilk Vanilla to loosen it up and add an even creamier texture. I also include a different nut and dried fruit option for each day to add to the oatmeal if desired and to be folded into the available snacks.
I made sure to include high-quality instant coffee, tea bags and additional Pacific Foods Hemp Vanilla as well as hot cups. The last thing you want are a bunch of grumpy adults who haven’t had their coffee!
Mid-morning snack is one package of Pacific Foods Organic Roasted Garlic Hummus and a box of organic gluten free crackers. Again, this is easy as everyone can use their crackers to dip into the hummus right from the container. All we have to do is open, crack the package to make it useful for serving and stir.
Lunch will be half of a can of wild Alaskan salmon and 1-cup of Pacific Foods Organic Vegetable Lentil & Roasted Red Pepper Soup.
Mid-afternoon snack options include popcorn, apple chips, gluten free cereal, dried fruit, nuts, and protein bars.
Dinner is Pacific Foods Organic Polenta Original with Pacific Foods Organic Sante Fe Style Chicken Soup.
For dessert, we have some gluten free chocolate chip cookies and either more Hempmilk or caffeine-free tea.
For bigger eaters, this can be supplemented with snack foods, nutrient-dense nuts and protein bars. Or, for those who may be doing hard work lifting, shoveling, building, (who knows what else!?), there are extra calories here to be consumed.
Like we discussed in the Safety Post, I think it is important to try and retain some sense of normalcy in regards to diet and nutrition if you are not in a dire situation. Clearly, if things are dire, we are going to take whatever we can shove into a bag and go.
With that being said, there are certain convenience foods (I’m looking at you Peanut Butter Panda Puffs) that we don’t normally eat but are much better than anything you can get in those crazy space food packs or emergency nutrition bars.
No matter where you live, you need to be prepared for some type of emergency. Whether a natural disaster such as an earthquake, tsunami, hurricane, typhoon, tornado, flooding or drought-induced fires or some type of unusual man-made emergency (think NYC during 911), I hope these posts and lists help you begin to think about it and take action.